TWU students place 1st in the country in Outdoor Nation contest

MacKenna Heath outside TWU's Fit & Rec center practicing archery.
MacKenna Heath outside TWU's Fit & Rec center practicing archery.

Oct. 30, 2017 - DENTON - Texas Woman’s University students, MacKenna Heath and Joe Tello led a pack of more than 25,000 students nationally and were named outsiders of the year in the recently concluded Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.

Heath, a senior nutrition in business and industry major from Flower Mound, and Tello, a sophomore biology major from Dallas, tied in the number of points earned during the competition. They helped lead Texas Woman’s University to a second place finish against 91 universities, and first in the southwest region.

The Outdoor Nation competition, hosted by the non-profit Outdoor Foundation, challenges universities across the country to get their students outside and moving. Participants posted photos on the Outdoor Nation website over the course of four weeks to earn points for their school and themselves. This is TWU’s third year to participate in the challenge.

“Outdoor Nation unites our campus to be active,” Heath said. “Everyone can get involved no matter what their major or interests.” 

Joe Tello (left) with fellow students Laura Hickman (center) and Kaira Edwards (right) kayaking.
Joe Tello (left) with fellow students Laura Hickman (center) and Kaira Edwards (right) kayaking in TWU's Pioneer Hall pool.

Heath took advantage of the many on-campus activities, such as the rock climbing wall in TWU’s Student Recreation Center, archery, weightlifting and “hammocking.” Tello used the competition as an opportunity to camp and hike with TWU’s Outdoor Adventure Club.

“Outdoor Nation inspired me to become more active because racking up points motivated me to go out more,” Tello said. “The Fitness and Recreation staff helped me find activities. Being outdoors is much better than staying indoors watching TV.”

For winning the challenge, both students will receive head-to-toe gear from REI and The North Face.

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